A great way to start a home business is by selling on the popular platform Etsy. Selling on Etsy has become increasingly popular over the past few years. But many new sellers make mistakes that cost them money and hurt their businesses right from the start.
Here are some of the most common mistakes that Etsy sellers make and more importantly how you can avoid these pitfalls. These mistakes will help you avoid making them yourself. Overlooking just a simple feature of Etsy can mean huge problems and the worst thing is they are so common. Take a look at the following problems and mistakes that may be costing you sales on Etsy:
You Are Now an Etsy Brand – Act Like It
Branding is key to success on Etsy. When customers visit your store, they expect to see your brand logo and name everywhere. So, make sure that every aspect of your business reflects your brand identity. Your brand should be all over your products, social media, and even your packaging.
For example, your shop name should appear prominently on your listings and your profile. Also, make sure that your listing photos match your branding. You don’t want to have a fishing brand name and you sell vegan spice mixes for example. Consider creating a custom domain for your store as well which can give you more exposure and credibility in many customers eyes. This gives visitors a chance to connect with you online and build trust in your brand as well.
You’ve taken the time to create a great product, make sure that you take the time to make sure everything is good when you go to post it.
The Photo is the Most Important Component of the Etsy Shop Listing. Make Sure it’s Good
One of the biggest mistakes sellers make on Etsy is uploading low-quality photos. While it’s true that Etsy does allow sellers to upload multiple pictures, the photo that gets chosen will appear on every listing. So, make sure that you spend extra time editing each picture to make sure that it’s clear and crisp.
You can even play around with the saturation and contrast for the photo to make it more eye catching. Make sure that the photo still shows an accurate display of the product however when using any type of filter. Many sellers will also place their branding in the corner of the photo or include signage in the photo itself.
You will also want to make sure that you upload a wide variety of sizes for the photos. Some listings require a large image while others just need a thumbnail. Don’t forget to add captions to your photos as well which include keywords and descriptions of the product in the image. These will provide additional details about the item that buyers might otherwise miss.
Don’t worry about taking too many pictures. As long as you’re capturing enough detail, you shouldn’t run into any problems. Just remember to edit each photo after you finish shooting. Think about when you purchase anything online. Would you rather have 15 photos of the product to look at or just 1?
Let People Get to Know Who You Are (About Section)
One of the biggest mistakes sellers make when starting out on Etsy is failing to fill out their About section on their profile. While this is optional, it’s still very important to include your brand name and logo here. After all, you want people to get to know you, your brand, and your products. It’s a way to build trust with a customer and certainly good for repeat customers.
Filling out the about section on Etsy is especially important if you sell products that require branding, such as clothing or accessories. When someone visits your store, they should immediately recognize who you are and what you stand for. Including your brand in your About section gives potential customers a clear idea of what they can expect from your business.
If you use a portion of your profits to support a charity then its a good idea to put that in the about section as well. Your mission statement should be included and the charity or project should also be included. This is a great way to gain new customers as well as gain some exposure for your cause even if they decide not to buy from you.
How Will Customers Find Your Products? (Etsy SEO)
Etsy sellers sometimes struggle with finding customers online. Many of them rely solely on word-of-mouth referrals to drive sales, which is fine, but it can be difficult to track down potential buyers who aren’t actively searching for products. One of the biggest problems that they don’t realize is their products simply aren’t optimized for the Etsy search. Here are some tips to help:
Optimizing Your Listing Titles
One of the biggest mistakes sellers make when listing items on Etsy is choosing bad titles for their products. When you write a title for your Etsy product page, you want to make sure that it describes exactly what the item is and includes keywords that will help buyers find it.
For example, if you sell handmade wreaths, you might choose a title like “Black and Orange Handmade Halloween Wreath,” rather than just “Wreath.” Also, try to avoid using generic terms like “vintage” or “retro.” These terms are used frequently, so they aren’t very specific and could lead to confusion among potential customers. Be descriptive so users can actually find your products.
Look for unique descriptions that describe the item specifically. For instance, instead of saying “vintage dress,” say “vintage white dress with lace trim.” Then, add keywords like “lace,” “white,” and “dress” to make it easier for shoppers to find your listings.
What you don’t want to include are things that potential customer’s won’t know or won’t be searching for. “Sally’s Wreaths” or “Dress for Holiday Party” just isn’t something someone would search for and should be avoided.
Optimizing Your Listing Tags
Etsy sellers sometimes forget to optimize their listing tags. These tags are used to describe each item on your store, and they play a huge role in helping customers find what they’re looking for. They should include short and simple descriptive tags as well as more detailed ones.
For example, if someone searches for “tribal jewelry,” they might expect to see listings for necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, etc. But if your listing tag says “necklace,” then it could appear next to other items that aren’t exactly what the customer was searching for.
To avoid this problem, always add descriptive tags to your listings. Also, consider adding multiple tags to each listing. This allows you to group similar products together, making it easier for customers to find what they’re looking.
Optimizing Your Listing Description
Additionally, make sure that your description includes key selling points and features of your products. Customers will appreciate knowing what makes your product unique, and they’ll feel more confident purchasing from you when they know exactly what they’re getting.
Be sure to describe the product your selling completely and if it’s a task based product for instance a planner, make sure you detail the benefits that the customer will receive when they use the product.
Promote Related Products You Sell on Etsy
You should also realize that users who are shopping, are doing just that, shopping. Gain more exposure for your products by including them in your listings. Linking to another product in a product listing is a great way to gain more exposure for your products. For example, if you sell wreaths and door hangers for wreaths make sure they are linked together so a customer will be exposed to both products. If not, they may not even realize you offer a hanger when ordering a wreath from you.
Optimize your file names
Including as much descriptive text in your listings, tags, and title is important but there are also other places where you can place keywords for your Etsy products. One of those areas is the file names for images or videos for your products. There is a bit of debate whether this has any effect on rankings on the Etsy search but it certainly won’t hurt.
Promoting Your Business with Social Media
Social media is one of the easiest ways to market your business online. But if you aren’t promoting yourself on social media, you could miss out on potential customers who would love to hear about your products.
One of the biggest mistakes sellers make is failing to promote themselves on social media. When you share your own personal stories, photos, and videos, you create a connection with your followers and build trust. People feel comfortable sharing their opinions with you, and they’re much less likely to buy from someone else.
To avoid making this mistake, try posting regularly on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other platforms. Don’t just talk about your products; tell your story. Tell funny stories, share pictures of your kids, and write about your life experiences. Show off your personality and let others know who you really are.
Promote a coupon code for your Etsy Shop
Offering discounts and coupon codes are a great way to attract repeat buyers, and it’s especially effective for sites such as Etsy. You can promote coupon codes for shoppers when they buy multiple items or a simple percent off discount. Plus, promoting coupon codes on social media is a great way to gain exposure. Just make sure you only post discounts for a limited time so there is an urgency to order the items from you.
Utilize your Etsy shop announcement for more traffic
Etsy sellers who utilize their announcement box to share their products and services are much more likely to receive sales inquiries.
This is because customers are able to learn more about your business and purchase items directly from your listing. Additionally, you can add a link to your website or other online resources to provide additional details about your business.
Price Your Products for Profits
Etsy sellers who sell handmade goods often struggle with pricing their items. Many of them believe that selling inexpensive products will lead to more sales, but this is just not true.
Instead, Etsy sellers who sell low priced items tend to lose money instead of making profits. When you set your prices too low, you risk losing potential customers who aren’t willing to pay full price. Instead of focusing on quantity over quality, focus on creating unique products that are worth paying for.
To avoid this problem, try setting your prices based on the value you provide to your customers. For example, if you offer a service, consider charging a flat fee rather than a percentage of the sale. If you create custom artwork, charge a fixed amount for each piece. Whatever you decide to charge, make sure that it reflects the value you add to your customer’s life.
Take Advantage of Etsy’s Marketing Tools
Etsy sellers often overlook the benefits of using the platform’s marketing tools. These tools allow you to create custom ads, track sales, and manage your inventory. While Etsy does offer basic analytics, it’s easy to miss the other features available to you.
For example, you can set up automatic shipping notifications, send emails to customers who haven’t purchased in a while, and schedule deliveries. You can also use the app to view customer feedback and communicate directly with them.
These features aren’t just helpful for selling; they’re also useful for promoting your business. When you use the app to send personalized messages to potential buyers, you can build brand awareness and drive traffic back to your store.
Do Market Research Before you Create a New Item
Etsy sellers sometimes create products that aren’t very useful or unique. Instead of wasting money creating items that no one wants, spend your time researching other markets to sell your goods.
Start by identifying similar products that already exist on the market. Then, look into the competition to see who else is selling similar products. Once you’ve found potential customers, reach out to them directly to learn more about their needs. You can then create a product that meets those needs.
It’s also important to remember that every product category has different rules and regulations. Some require licensing, others don’t. And some allow for certain types of sales while others prohibit them entirely. So, before you launch your own store, research the laws in your area to avoid legal trouble down the road.
Be Prepared for Upcoming Holidays
Etsy sellers who aren’t prepared for upcoming holidays may miss out on sales during peak seasons. You should be thinking at least 4 months ahead when planning for upcoming holidays and the products and marketing that you will be using during that holiday. When planning for holiday promotions, consider the following tips:
• Start early. Planning your promotion starts months in advance, especially if you plan to sell items during the busy season. At least 4 months is recommended for most holidays especially the large ones (Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc).
• Create a schedule. Determine when you will release products and set aside specific days for each type of sale.
• Promote your sale. Reach out to customers via social media, emails, and other channels to let them know about your products and what you’re selling. For instance, if someone asks on Facebook about buying a custom made cup and you offer it, why not send them a message or comment on their post?
• Set realistic expectations. Don’t expect to sell every item during your promotion; instead, focus on selling enough items to cover costs. Your Etsy shop may not take off overnight so it’s best to be realistic.
• Keep track of inventory. Track your inventory levels and monitor your profit margins to avoid running out of stock.
• Have fun. Treat your promotion as a celebration of your business and enjoy yourself while promoting your products.
Test, Test, Test Your Etsy Listings
Etsy sellers often overlook the importance of testing their listings. When you create a listing, you’re essentially giving potential buyers permission to browse your products. But if your listing is poorly formatted or doesn’t contain enough detail, you could lose sales.
Look at the statistics for your products and continually make edits to see how it does. When you find something that works you can apply it to other listings in your Etsy shop. Simply throwing your product up and leaving it is a huge mistake! Keep testing and testing and making your product items better and better.
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